Nick Zarras | STAReview Managing Editor
Many of us ride for years without incident. And it seems like as a whole the percentage of accidents involving MSTA riders is much lower than what I see reported on the television among the general populous. Let’s look at one such major accident locally and see how it differs from how we ride. It was a seven motorcycle accident on a two lane highway in midday. The weather was somewhat overcast, around 50 degrees. The road was dry. The following data is preliminary but sufficient for using it as an example. The first motorcyclist pair passed on both sides of a large tall vehicle then slowed down. The second set of bikes passed the same way and the third set passed the same way along with one final motorcyclist. The second and third pair and last single motorcyclists collided with the other bikes in the group. It can only be surmised that the trailing motorcycles lost sight of how close the first pair of bikes were from the large tall vehicle and misjudged their closure speed as they passed the large vehicle. The last single motorcyclist saw the closure speed and bailed off their bike and that bike ran into an obstruction. So why did this group of seven riders crash where most MSTA group rides end without incident?
On the rides I have witnessed, each rider who is thinking of passing moves into the passing lane at a safe distance from the slower vehicle single file in front of them. They look to see if they have enough room to pass. If they don’t then they just move back into their lane and wait. If it is open, they accelerate quickly to not only pass the slower vehicle but also to open up at least a two second distance in front of the vehicle they just passed. If they have more motorcycles that will join them they open up more distance ahead, so those behind also can pass, then open up a safe distance.
Experienced motorcyclist know to ride within their capabilities. They d not push to keep the group together, if such actions could prove dangerous. This seven bike crash was avoidable. There was a fatality and one rider was taken to the hospital. Some words of wisdom I will pass on “A smart rider learns from their mistakes, a wise rider learns from other’s mistakes so as not to make their own!”
This month we feature some nice ride reports. Michigan’s Keith Danielson tells us a tale of the Fourteen Corners Grand Tour! Wrap Up. Texas resident Dave Edinger tells of a trip from Austin, Texas to and through California on his Ducati ST3S in “California Dreaming.” Jim Parks, Contributing Editor, gives us some great touring tips on “Managing Sick in the Saddle.” Minnesota’s Bill Webb guides us through the “Three Secrets to Turning” courtesy of Keith Code’s California Superbike School.
This issue’s features an interview with Texas Assistant State Director Joe Johnston. This month’s Member Profile is Washington’s Dan Thomas. This month’s Safe Money is Nevada’s Kurt Asplindh’s heavily farkled 2007 BMW R 1200 GS. This month’s Road Test is the 2014 BMW R 1000 R, a raw and stylized sport-touring, commuter, track bike for the naked bike crowd. Our Safety Editor extraodinaire, Doug Westly guides us through an evaluation process on when to stay with a riding group and when to “Just Say No.” The Road Test – Quick Look features the 2014-2013 Triumph Thunderbird a classy cruiser that has sport-touring capabilities. STAReview magazine has a host of product tests this month. Ohio’s John Boyd reviews Grip Buddies, an easy application to heated grips or hard grips to soften the feel. I provide three product tests. The first is the EPIC-id, an emergency bracelet that has a USB drive that stores your pertinent personal and medical information easily accessible for first responders and health care providers. The second is the Arkon Premium Motorcycle Mount and Case that allows you to mount a GPS or Cell Phone to your handle bars for easy access and it is water-resistant. The last is the Go Puck 5x Power Shot Wearable Power which has unique mounting solutions and can provide additional power to keep your accessories charged.
STAReview magazine would like to welcome California’s Mike Tissandier as our new membership director. He is picking up the torch from Choon Gan who has given us years of great service and was instrumental in making sure STAReview magazine made it to print. Thanks Choon for your years of service and friendship. Mike will have the same email as Choon did: firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAReview magazine is not only news but cherished memories. Jim Park’s photo archives are a treasure of great rides, reaching back 34 years. Check it out on www.ridemsta.com.
So if you want to be immortalized, showcase your stories and events in STAReview magazine. Email me your typed articles and high resolution photos as attachments. If you want a chance to be on the cover shoot your best photos in portrait mode. Showcase your treasured 2011-2015 motorcycle (Sweet Rides) or 2010 or older motorcycle (Safe Money). I will provide you full editorial support. The digital STAReview magazine articles have hyperlinks to link you to web sites for travel planning information motorcycle and accessories to lust over. I want YOU to be the star in STAReview! So kick back with a cool one and enjoy this issue of STAReview magazine.
Ride Safe my friend…
Clear skies, clear roads…